Missing Sunday


We commit, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together; exercising an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other; and being slow to take offense but purposefully seeking reconciliation.
These words form the second part of our church covenant. At Mercy Hill Chapel, we acknowledge that being a part of the church is so much more than simply coming to church on Sunday mornings. And yet, it cannot be less than coming to church on Sunday mornings.

The aim of this blog post is to encourage us to make plans for Sunday worship, fight against the temptation to skip gathering together, and to maintain the spirit of our covenant commitment to not forsake assembling together (Hebrews 10:25). What follows is a short list of things we — the assembled saints of Mercy Hill Chapel — miss when you miss church.

Our eyes miss the physical testimony of your presence. The believers of MHC run the race of faith all week long. Think of a ship out to sea that is being tossed to and fro by rough waves and storms. Our boats are out there separated from each other and on Sunday mornings we gather in a harbor with still waters and see our brothers and sisters and their boats. Some boats barely make it into harbor. They’re late. They’re scratched up. They’ve sprung leaks. But when your tired and beat up boat takes its place in the harbor, I see the physical evidence that the King of the storms has sustained you through the rough week at sea. What we miss when you miss church is the opportunity for our faith to be encouraged just by the sight of you.
Our ears miss the testimony of your voice. We love to sing as a church. We love to sing loud. We love to hear each other sing. When Ivan’s guitar drops out, our voices rise together to fill the gap in praise to our God. The chorus of Mercy Hill Chapel is incomplete without you. What we miss when you miss church is the sound of your voice harmonizing with ours and joining in loudest praise to God.
Our hearts miss your affectionate care and watchfulness. There have been weeks where we haven’t had a ten minute conversation with anyone outside our immediate family. In all the hustle of the week, many of us hardly have time to touch the ground between Sunday and Sunday and have admittedly run a weak race of faith. Then when we arrive at church on Sunday mornings and God uses other believers to minister to our souls. How many of us have been engaged by a brother or sister who was watching over us? How many conversations have exercised an affectionate care over our souls? What we miss when you miss church is the care and watchfulness we need to run and not slow down.
Mercy Hill is also forsaken in another way. When you miss church, you aren’t among us to serve the body and care for the children, greet the visitors, collect the offering, pick up loose trash, hold the door for someone, make a fresh pot of coffee, thank our pastor for laboring over the sermon, turn off the sound system, lock up the church, read the passage to the congregation, play in the band, or run sound. What we miss when you miss church is your hands and feet caring for and serving the church during worship.
My aim in this post is not to guilt you into better church attendance. However, when we covenant together and commit to not forsake one another in our assembly, let’s not be unclear about what counts as “forsaking.” Every Sunday we miss church, we miss out and cause others to miss out as well. This is why the author to the Hebrews (10:25) warns us not to make this a habit.

The saints of Mercy Hill Chapel are forsaken without your physical presence, without the testimony of your voice singing among us. The saints of Mercy Hill Chapel are forsaken when you are not there to exercise care and watchfulness over their souls. The saints of Mercy Hill Chapel are forsaken when your gifts and abilities are absent during worship.
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